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(15 Posts)
dahlia Sat 04-May-19 16:55:59

Hoping to get the usual help/reassurance from my fellow Gransnetters. Quite out of the blue, during a routine check, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and prescribed Warfarin, which I start tomorrow. (I can't take any other suitable medication as I am on Phenytoin). The NHS site lists a lot of foods unsuitable for Warfarin takers, most of which I eat regularly as I am vegetarian, and I also suffer from IBS so some foods "get me going"! I'm sure some of you have experience of Warfarin, please tell me it will just become a normal routine, not the faff I am foreseeing at the moment!

Eleanor21 Sat 04-May-19 17:08:13

I am on 3.5 Warfarin following a heart attack in January. At first the constant blood tests were annoying but now I am down to once a month. No real side effects but I do bruise so easily and if you cut yourself it takes ages to stop bleeding.
I am investigating changing to one of the new generation of blood thinning tablets. Warfarin is the cheapest option for the NHS.
I don’t worry about the food, I think it’s kale and sprouts
you shouldn’t have too much of for the vitamin K.

Welshwife Sat 04-May-19 17:26:54

Cranberry is a definite no no for warfarin patients but that doesn’t cause OH much problem - he has been taking Warfarin for more than ten years. He has an INR blood test monthly.
I have very recently been given a blood thinning drug and it is one of the new type which requires no monthly INR tests but it certainly makes a difference when I have a blood test or a line put in a vein as it bleeds quite a lot afterwards whereas I used to bleed very little.

EllanVannin Sat 04-May-19 18:14:32

Another warfarin taker here----since 2006/7. I'm checked every 2 bit months because my INR has been steady/stable for a while now. I used to take 23mgs a week and it's down to 19mgs now. As for diet, I eat anything and everything in moderation---no cranberry and no alcohol. I can't say I've had any problems to note. I take the tablet/s with a 20mg statin at night time.
Never bruised or had any problem with bleeding and I carry my booklet wherever I go in case of an accident.

FlexibleFriend Sat 04-May-19 18:18:53

Keep your diet the same there is no need to restrict certain foods it's just that certain foods affect your inr and if eaten irregularly will cause your Inr to spike or fall so consistency is the key. I was on warfarin from 2013 to last August due to my auto immune condition and was self testing every 2 days but was taken off last August and currently inject Clexane daily. If you eat a lot of green veg just try to keep the amounts the same each day, same with alcohol.

Greenfinch Sat 04-May-19 18:25:00

I have taken it for many years with no problems. I never eat or drink cranberry but alcohol and leafy green veg I have in moderation.My main problem is that I have sciatica and because of the Warfarin have been advised not to take any painkillers apart from paracetamol which doesn't even touch it.Don't worry you soon won't even think about it and it is a very reassuring thing to take.

Greenfinch Sat 04-May-19 18:26:14

Don't worry.

Iam64 Sat 04-May-19 18:34:24

dahlia, don't worry about it. I was diagnosed with AF about 5 years ago, had a cardio version that reverted to AF and have continued to take blood thinners. Initially warfarin but last year my INF readings were so erratic I was moved to one of the newer drugs.
I was told when I started to take warfarin, that as I'd always eaten spinach, cranberries, kale etc, cooked with Turmeric, I could carry on doing so. The issue seemed to be the difficulties may arise if I introduced a new 'banned' food but continuing to follow my usual diet wasn't a problem. I'm not a veggie but don't eat much meat and eat a largely veggie diet which includes many of the foods listed on the NHS site.

Live your life is my motto.

Tartlet Sat 04-May-19 19:56:43

After 10 years or so on Warfarin and far too frequent INR tests I managed to persuade my doctor to replace it with Apixaban and which only needs an annual blood test. After so many years of erratic INR readings and constantly changing Dosages of Warfarin, it’s marvellous and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Greenfinch, I am prescribed codeine or strong co codamol for my arthritis and occasional sciatica. I couldn’t manage just with Paracetamol.

Greenfinch Sat 04-May-19 20:03:04

Thanks for thatTartlet I will follow it up with my new GP as I am not sleeping at all well at the moment not being able to get comfortable.

Iam64 Sat 04-May-19 21:18:55

Greenfinch, I’m on the same meds as Tartlett with no problems. Paracetamol doesn’t touch arthritic pain

allule Sat 04-May-19 22:51:20

My husband was on warfarin for about 20 years, and it was no problem as we aren't very imaginative, and ate a very regular diet, so he was only needing tests every 12 weeks. The problem came with antibiotics, which meant more frequent testing. As these became more frequent, he also became housebound, which meant home visits were needed for tests. He has now been put on apixaban.

Badenkate Sun 05-May-19 08:52:50

I've had afib for about 10 years (diagnosed - who knows before then) and been in permanent afib for about 2 years. I started off with warfarin and was OK for several years, and then started to have trouble keeping my INR between 2 and 3, so now I'm on Eliquis with no testing. I had no problem with prolonged bleeding after cuts with either of them. The warfarin nurse told me that with the INR tests, it allows for your normal diet - it's changes in diet that affect the readings. The important thing is to keep taking the 'blood thinners' so that you reduce the risk of stroke, which is the main problem with afib.

dahlia Sun 05-May-19 19:49:13

Thank you so much for your very reassuring replies and helpful information, especially about dietary restrictions. I have Cranberry juice every day following years of recurrent cystitis, and really believe it helps (and belief is half the cure, I'm sure you'll agree!). I had my first Warfarin this evening, and see the nurse on Wednesday, so I will ask her advice. Thank you again, you are wonderful! smile

LadyGracie Sun 05-May-19 20:27:03

My husband has been on warfarin for about 15 years, he has a machine and does his own INR testing, he also self medicates. He manages to keep his INR on recommended levels quite easily.